DeLand, Fla. - In front of a packed house Luis Jacobo (Sanford, Fla.) and Ridge Graham (Stuart, Fla.) each scored 15 points for the Hatters yet it wasn't enough to overcome the Knights' overwhelming outside shooting attack as UCF (4-0) defeated Stetson (1-2) 85-58 Tuesday night in DeLand. The game between old rivals attracted 4,249 fans into the Edmunds Center, the 3rd largest home crowd since Stetson head coach Derek Waugh took the helm in 2001. Jacobo also led the home team under the glass with seven rebounds.
UCF's Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, P.R.) led all scorers with 22 points followed by Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) with 21 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Sosa sparked the Knights outside game by knocking down 6-of-11 from 3-point range. He did not take a single shot all night from inside the line.
On the night Stetson hit 22 field goals compared to 23 for UCF. The Hatters were outrebounded by just two at 30-28. Stetson held an advantage in points in the paint (36-16), second chance points (10-7) and fast break points (8-4). In the end, however it was free throws and 3-pointers that kept the Hatters from winning their 2010-11 home opener.
As a team UCF finished 50% (11-for-22) from long range and shot 52.3% (23-44) overall from the floor. The Knights also shot 77.8% (28-of-36) from the line. Stetson hit just four 3-pointers (4-of-16) and 10 free throws (10-for-23). In other words UCF picked up seven points on treys and 18 points at the line. That is 25 points in a game Stetson lost by 27.
UCF Opened the game with a 17-7 run that included 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. The Knights pushed the lead to 16 points (27-11) on a 3-pointer by Sosa at 9:30 before Stetson began pick up some momentum. Joel Naburgs (Victoria, Australia) started a Hatter run with a three at 7:07 and finished it with a pair of free throws and Stetson was back to within six (27-21) with 4:39 to play. Graham finished the first half scoring with a layup at 1:22 and Stetson went into the locker room down by seven at 32-25.
UCF started the second half with a 3-pointer by Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) and then Stetson's Tyshawn Patterson (Orlando, Fla.) hit a layup to reduce the deficit to eight points. That was as close as Stetson would get as UCF's experience and relentless defense took over. The Knights led by as many as 33 points after a Clanton trey with 2:21 remaining.
Note: Clanton and Patterson played together in high school leading Orlando Christian Prep to Florida Class 1A state titles in 2006-07, and again in 2007-08.
Next up the Hatters will be back in the Edmunds Center to host Palm Beach Atlantic on November 26 at 7:00 p.m. Catch the game on Hatter Vision with 17-year veterans Murray Miller and Harry Arnold calling the action. Also be sure to follow the Hatters on Twitter at @StetsonSID (twitter.com/stetsonsid), "like" Stetson Athletics on Facebook and check out the official YouTube channel at youtube.com/stetsonhatters.